breaking news


Missing in the Miami Valley: Erica Baker 

Published: Thursday, February 09, 2017 @ 4:48 PM



www.whiotv.com
(www.whiotv.com)

ELECTION 2017: 4 running for Kettering School Board

Published: Sunday, October 22, 2017 @ 1:05 PM
Updated: Sunday, October 22, 2017 @ 1:05 PM

4 running for Kettering School Board
4 running for Kettering School Board

There are four candidates running for three seats on the Kettering School Board.

Jim Ambrose and Julie Gilmore are running for re-election to the board against challengers Edward Breen and Darren Cooper.

We asked all four candidates what they would do if elected. Here’s some of their answers:

Q: What are the 3 biggest challenges facing the school district? How would you deal with them?

Jim Ambrose: School districts across Ohio are dealing with the continuing problem of funding public schools and balancing the budget in light of dwindling State funding assistance. Both the state and federal government have limited sources of funding over the past 5 years or so in such a fashion that districts are compelled to do more with less financial support.

Voters guide: Your best local resource for Election 2017

Find information on races and candidates you care about, by using your location or browsing information on dozens of races and hundreds of candidates.

I, as a present board member, have seen first-hand how difficult it is to initiate some programs while de-emphasizing others. There are no easy answers, only challenges to be confronted and we are doing well at that by implementing creative and unique funding/levy efforts. Addressing the educational needs of our children in a forever changing technological and socio-economic landscape has been a high priority of this board. The dynamics of Kettering families have changed over the last several years, so therefore our teachers and administrators are confronted with addressing those changes in order to assure a solid educational basis for those students.

These goals are being met with collaboration and planning. Measuring student success and teacher effectiveness on an annual changing “State scale” is akin to hitting a moving target. School boards are being challenged to predict what next will be required by the State of Ohio almost on a yearly basis. This causes much stress and uncertainty with students, staff and administrators. The board must provide the tools and training to assist our teachers and administrators.

Edward F. Breen: The first is funding for future needs in a fluctuating economy. The state legislature is giving less money to school districts. The school district therefore must come up with alternate ways to maintain the high level of education that the city has become known for. The second is to keep our students safe from the encroaching violence and danger that prevails in our society today. The third is keeping the educational experience up to date and in sync with modern technology and cultural changes. I will work with the board to overcome any of the problems and challenges that the district faces.

Darren Cooper: After 30 years of volunteer service to various school districts, I have learned about the dangers of the distances between Kettering, Columbus and Washington. Governmental mandates make for bad government, not good education policy. Kettering citizens should decide what is best for Kettering students, not some Washington bureaucrat! We must be able to meet the current and future fiscal challenges in running a quality school district. Maybe the most important challenge of all in Kettering is to produce good students and good citizens.

Julie Ann Gilmore: Working to maintain continuous voter support is essential. As a board member I push for a varied and challenging curriculum that meets all student needs in a fiscally responsible manner. We must be aware of changing socio/economic conditions within our student body. Dealing with changing issues is a challenge, but we have set up support groups (Partners for Healthy Youth, Back-Pack Program, Special Counselor knowledgeable about the many county programs, working closely with the City in establishing summer and after-school programs and activities) Assessing, identifying and selecting locations of facilities needed to provide all-day kindergarten and expanded Career Tech programs for the district. We are currently involved in a Strategic Plan process for the district in which I am directly involved.

RELATED: Learn more about the candidates for Kettering School Board

Q: What makes you qualified to be on the school board and gives you an advantage over other candidates?

Jim Ambrose: I have been on the Kettering School Board since 2012, serving on several standing committees including the Insurance Committee, the Athletic Board of Control, the Safety Committee, and the Curriculum and Instruction Committee. Each committee brings with it a unique understanding of core issues and the need to “think outside the box.” My experience as a trial lawyer for more than 4 decades representing people who have been or will be directly impacted by the effectiveness of their education, and in particular reading, makes me qualified and passionate about education. The difference between a “good citizen” and one not so good, is quite often the degree of educational success and achievement one obtained. Those who can read and comprehend are far more likely to perform well in society than those who do not. We, as a board, have a duty and a reasonable expectation to provide a free, effective, and relevant education to every child in this district. It is my desire to continue to serve our taxpayers and make a difference in the lives of our children.

Edward F. Breen: After teaching 23 plus years I want to stay in the education community. I understand what it means to be a teacher in this changing educational climate and will represent their viewpoints. I enjoy working with students and their families. I also will be their voice on the school board. With my strong political background I can help facilitate issues and values and bring city and school together. I have a strong desire to maintain our current excellence in education status and to strive for continued excellence in the future.

Darren Cooper: My strong background in finance provides an advantage in dealing with budgets and other fiscal matters. My financial planning practice had nearly 1,000 state teachers and administrators as clients. Over the years, I listened to them carefully and I learned a lot. This gives me a great advantage in understanding the needs of the personnel in our district, as well as the needs of our students.

Julie Ann Gilmore: In my role as a current Kettering School board member, as an experienced Kettering classroom teacher, and as a volunteer in the Kettering community, I have contributed to the improvement of educational opportunities for all Kettering students. It is my hope to be able to continue making a difference.

Q: What is your top priority if elected?

Jim Ambrose: My top priority is to continue to work toward providing an excellent school district for our children. Over these past 5 years, I probably have learned more about public education demands than I ever thought possible. I believe I am making a difference in our district and have grown to not only appreciate our employees and their vision and passion, but also the mechanics of growing, developing, and nurturing a truly excellent school district. We are fortunate to have teachers, administrators, and staff who collectively care about our district’s children and the community as a whole. I believe I have more to lend to our schools and look forward to serving again. We need, now more than ever, individuals who truly care about what is best for our educational system and what action needs to be taken to implement this goal. Presently, our board’s enactment of a long range strategic plan is the most prudent and logical approach to operate an effective and dynamic school district. This method involves people/citizens from all walks of life willing to come together in a collaborative spirit to address challenges confronting our educational system. Their collective experiences and wisdom broadens the choices and approaches that will be utilized over the next 5 years or so.

Edward F. Breen: School board members have needed to become more involved and familiar with the community and its changing needs. With the evolving dynamic of our city’s population and the rift in some of our student’s family support system, elected officials must be more compassionate and open minded, as they deal with issues that were not common in the past. Problems such as cyberbullying, drugs, and guns are a part of our school district and school board members must become more aware of these problems and come up with methods and solutions that will keep these types of behaviors out of our schools.

Darren Cooper: Our top priority in Kettering Schools is producing good students and good citizens. This includes preparation for the work force, as well as for college.

Julie Ann Gilmore: My top priority has always been involvement in curriculum committee work, and knowledge of the school district by attending many functions at all schools. With this in mind, my priority will be to continue to make a difference in the educational opportunities of all our students.

Bubble under construction over Lakota YMCA’s outdoor swimming pool

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 6:43 PM

Local YMCA covering outdoor pool for year-round use

In the coming weeks, the Lakota Family YMCA will be blowing a huge bubble behind its building.

Work started Saturday as nearly 40 volunteers assisted YMCA staff to stretch out the material that will be used to construct an inflatable dome over its 25,000-square-foot outdoor pool to make it available year-round.

“There is so much demand for indoor swimming,” said John Schaller, Lakota Family YMCA executive director.

MORE: Liberty Twp. puts 3.5-mill safety levy on ballot

Schaller said that demand has resulted in an investment of about $500,000 to build the inflatable bubble so members can use its outdoor pool year-round. The project also will include an enclosed walkway from the main building to the new bubble.

The 25-meter pool features eight lanes for competitive swimming and a zero-depth beach entry for senior citizens to participate in Silver Sneaker fitness programs. In addition, all of the other pool features, such as the water slide, will be able for year-round use.

MORE: Power of new friends, accomplishments on display at Camp Campbell Gard

The bubble will go up in late October and come down in late April or early May to accommodate the summer swimming season for the 8,500-member facility.

“We not only have our own swim team, we are the home waters for the Lakota East, Lakota West and Monroe high school swim teams … and the sheer needs of the community for swimming lessons,” Schaller said.

He said the Powell Crosley YMCA in suburban Cincinnati also has a bubble over its outdoor pool.

MORE: Countryside YMCA in Lebanon completes expansion

Sarah Matchison, the facility’s membership director, said they have coined this project the “Bubble” because it literally is a bubble (dome) that will go over our outdoor pool and our YMCA Families and the surrounding community will be able to use more than the Memorial Day to Labor Day time frame.

The Lakota Y also is the home of its YMCA/USA Swim Team, Lakota Y Stingrays. This past summer, the team sent swimmers to the YMCA National Long Course Championship Meet in Greensboro, N.C., for the first time in its history.

“By adding the bubble over the outdoor pool we will be able to provide family areas and family time to our community at the bubble,” she said.

MORE: Sink or swim test for students at Lakota cardboard regatta

Matchison said the Lakota Family YMCA also works with the local Butler Tech and Lakota high schools for their Cardboard Canoe Regatta in May. Students use their education and engineering skills to build cardboard canoes and race them in the pool. For the past two years, the event has been held in the indoor pool.

“Moving it out to the bubble will allow for more spectators and possibly more than two boats racing at a time,” she said.

Fox offers Bill O’Reilly big contract after $32 million settlement, Gretchen Carlson reacts

Published: Sunday, October 22, 2017 @ 12:57 PM

Inside Bill O'Reilly

Fox News offered Bill O’Reilly a $25 million contract even though O’Reilly had agreed to settle a sexual harassment claim for $32 million, according to The New York Times.

>> Read more trending news

The Times reported that O’Reilly settled out of court with former Fox News legal analyst Lis Wiehl just months before he was dismissed from the network.

O’Reilly categorized the Times piece as a “smear article” about him and defended himself on his website.

“In its latest diatribe against Bill O’Reilly, the Times printed leaked information provided by anonymous sources that is out of context, false, defamatory, and obviously designed to embarrass Bill O’Reilly and to keep him from competing in the marketplace,” a statement on O’Reilly’s website said.

“In the more than 20 years Bill O’Reilly worked at Fox News, not one complaint was filed against him with the human resources department or legal department by a coworker, even on the anonymous hotline,” the statement continued. 

The New York Times has copies of two letters written by 21st Century Fox lawyers attesting to that fact.”

>> Related: Recently released details put a new spin on when Bill O’Reilly and Fox News parted ways

After O’Reilly tweeted a link to his post, former “Fox & Friends” host Carlson responded.

“Nobody pays $32 million for false allegations – nobody,” Carlson wrote.

Carlson settled out of court in 2016, after she left Fox News amid her own allegations of sexual harassment against then chiarmen Roger Ailes.

Jim Carrey accuses dead ex-girlfriend of elaborate extortion scheme 

Published: Sunday, October 22, 2017 @ 9:38 AM

Jim Carrey Fast Facts

As the wrongful death lawsuit against him plows forward at full steam, Jim Carrey is claiming his late ex-girlfriend, Cathriona White, contracted the STDs that made her suicidal before meeting him, not after as her family alleges.

>> Read more trending news

White’s mother and estranged husband contend that White started experiencing suicidal thoughts after the actor gave her Herpes I, Herpes II and gonorrhea. However, documents filed in court by Carrey accuse White of an elaborate plot to extort him for millions “through smears and threats of public degradation via false allegations” and by faking her medical records. White allegedly told Carrey that she would lie and tell people that he gave her the diseases.

“When the threats were met with silence, White asked and obtained a copy of her friend’s Planned Parenthood records,” the motion says. “White’s intent in obtaining these records was clear — she cooked the records, creating forgeries with altered information, phony tests, and fictitious dates. A ruse, needed to support her lie, in July 2013, White and her attorney Marchino used the counterfeit records to extort money from Carrey.”

Carrey’s team points to text messages between White and a friend, which allegedly pertained to the scheme.

“This motion seeks an admission of the truth; namely that White had multiple STDs before meeting Carrey or nonforged copies of December 28, 2011 records of White, records that do not and have never actually existed,” the motion continues. 

>> Related: After months of delays, Jim Carrey finally has to answer questions about his ex’s suicide

“Recognizing that Carrey was conned before, White’s green-card husband, Mark Burton, and her estranged and emotionally abusive mother, Brigid Sweetman, decided to get a second bite at the apple by filing a lawsuit claiming Mr. Carrey caused White’s death, exploiting the judicial system with fraudulent ‘evidence’ in a continued effort to extort Carrey.”

>> Related: Jim Carrey’s ex made serious accusations against him in a note years before her suicide

Related